The great poet Maxine Kumin died the other day (February 6) at her home in New Hampshire at the age of 88. She is often considered one of the confessional poets, and though I know the work of her contemporaries better than hers, I have deeply appreciate the work of hers that I’ve read [her Pulitzer Prize-winning Up Country is more than worth the time it takes to read it]. Please enjoy her poem, Grace, below.
Hens have their gravel; gravel sticks
The way it should stick, in the craw.
And stone on stone is tooth
For grinding raw.
And grinding raw, I learn from this
To fill my crop the way I should.
I put down pudding stone
And find it good.
I find it good to line my gut
With tidy octagons of grit.
No loophole and no chink
Make vents in it.
And in it vents no slime or sludge;
No losses sluice, no terrors slough.
God, give me appetite
for stone enough.